SCUTTLEBUTT 3564 - Friday, April 6, 2012
Scuttlebutt is published each weekday with the support of its sponsors,
providing a digest of major sailing news, commentary, opinions, features
and dock talk . . . with a North American focus.
Today's sponsors: Summit Yachts and The Pirates Lair.
New Zealander Ross Field knows his way around the world. He has been
involved in five editions of what is now known as the Volvo Ocean Race. His
latest endeavor was the Class40 Global Ocean Race (GOR), which was cut
short this past February when a Southern Ocean storm caused boat damage and
Ross can relate to the problems occurring to the Volvo Ocean Race. As with
the GOR, the safety zones now being created in the Southern Ocean to avoid
ice are limiting the options when sailors are confronted with adverse
weather. In his case, the course restriction forced him upwind in 40-50
knots with accompanying seas.... conditions that his boat could not
withstand. Here are his comments:
The Volvo Ocean Race has obviously become a disaster, and no one seems to
be able to identify it. My contention is that when you restrict the area
where boats can sail in the Southern Ocean, you are going to get breakages.
Like the Global Ocean Race (for Class40s), the Volvo creates an ice zone to
the south which forces the boats to sail in weather that they cannot sail
in. The Volvo forced the boats to sail and race in 50 knots plus reaching
in huge seas. If they weren't restricted, they could have gone further
south into more moderate conditions.
In all the previous races I have done I have seen ice bergs everywhere. Ice
is not a problem - it's there for all to see. There are satellite images to
give the most up to date information. We have all been sailing,
unrestricted, through the Southern Ocean for years until 'someone' came up
with an idea to stop boats doing it! I believe that race committees have
become too cautious and ruined the concept and freedom of 'round the world
I ask the question: how can the French race around thru the Southern Ocean
at 40 knots, at 60 degrees south, missing ice bergs, breaking records, with
spray going everywhere, in a full carbon high tech boat and nothing
Food for thought, but I am sure nothing will happen and all the blame will
be put onto the designers and engineers!
PHOTO FINISH IN THE CARDS
(April 5, 2012; Day 19) - A powerful South Atlantic weather system is
propelling Telefonica to within striking distance of current leaders PUMA
in a nail-biting finale to Leg 5, nearly negating a 400 nm deficit after
suspending racing on March 31 for 17 hours to repair structural damage.
Local squalls packing gusts in excess of 50 knots have battered both teams,
but their attention has now turned to a massive low pressure system in the
South Atlantic predicted to travel north and compress the pair to within
two miles of each other in the next 24 hours.
McDonald said his team, which has 30nm of lateral separation on PUMA, would
do all they can to overhaul the leader. "It's going to be in the hands of
the weather gods as much as anything else," Telefonica watch captain Neal
McDonald said. "If we get them in our sights we'll have a good shot at
giving them a run for their money."
With a photo finish in the cards, PUMA skipper Ken Read said these were
tense times for his team as they clung to the lead.
"We're terrified," he admitted. "Nobody's had any sleep in the last day.
We're working our asses off, that's all we can do. Sometimes the wind gods
bless you, and sometimes they don't. Telefonica have had a day and a half
shorter journey up from the Horn. There's nothing we can do apart from work
our asses off and hope for the best."
The latest ETA for the leading boats is 1600 UTC on Friday, April 6.
An update from Groupama, which broke their mast on Wednesday, is that they
will construct a jury rig and resume racing. They are currently in Punta
del Este, Uruguay. -- Event media
Leg 5 - Auckland, NZL to Itajai, Brazil (6,705 nm)
Standings as of Thursday, 05 April 2012, 22:18:27 UTC
1. PUMA Ocean Racing (USA), Ken Read (USA), 262.6 nm Distance to Finish
2. Telefonica (ESP), Iker Martinez (ESP), 19.3 nm Distance to Lead
- Groupama 4 (FRA), Frank Cammas (FRA), Suspended racing
- CAMPER (NZL), Chris Nicholson (AUS), Suspended racing
- Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (UAE), Ian Walker (GBR), Retired
- Team Sanya (CHN), Mike Sanderson (NZL), Retired
Video reports: http://www.youtube.com/user/volvooceanracevideos
BACKGROUND: During the nine months of the Volvo Ocean Race, which started
in Alicante, Spain (Oct. 29) and concludes in Galway, Ireland during early
July 2012, six professional teams will sail over 39,000 nautical miles
around the world via Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland, around Cape
Horn to Itajai, Miami, Lisbon, and Lorient. Teams accumulate points through
nine distance legs and ten In-Port races. - http://www.volvooceanrace.com
BUILT IN THE USA, DESIGNED BY MARK MILLS
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Summit 40, the most successful IRC 40 foot race boat worldwide over the
last 3 years; to the ultimate, semi-custom, all carbon race boat, the
Summit 45. All models are built to the highest standards, and all rate well
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The French America's Cup challenger Energy Team led by Loick and Bruno
Peyron has announced a design agreement with the American Defender ORACLE
Racing. The French team is licensing a base-line design package for an AC72
class race boat from the defender, which is permitted under the rules prior
to 1 January 2013.
This agreement enables Energy Team to achieve significant time and budget
savings whilst maximizing its highest performance potential with its AC72
wingsailed catamaran in the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Series in July and
August 2013. The winner faces ORACLE Racing in the America's Cup finals,
starting 7 September 2013.
The agreement is specifically a design license and does not for the moment
include any sailing agreement. Additionally, the team is still not
sufficiently funded to proceed with construction.
"With the best design at our disposal," explains Energy Team CEO Bruno
Peyron, "we really think we can surprise everyone in the finals of the
Louis Vuitton Cup with a budget of around 15-16 million Euros." The
Multiplast yard has a build site ready and hopes to begin construction
before the end of June, with completion scheduled for March 2013. This
would provide three months of training in San Francisco prior to the Louis
"The next America's Cup is all about the best sailors, the fastest boats
and an achievable business model," said Russell Coutts, CEO ORACLE Racing.
"This agreement hits all three targets. Loick and Bruno have achieved
fantastic exploits sailing multihulls. With the right technology at their
disposal, they have the potential to reach the highest level in the
America's Cup." -- Full report: http://tinyurl.com/ACUP-040512
* Russell Coutts is looking more like an ambassador for the United Nations
than the CEO of ORACLE Racing. After finalizing a deal to help the French
(above), he has hopped a plane to help China Team shake the money tree at
the Hainan Rendez-Vous in Sanya, China (April 6-8). This event is where
celebrities, jet-setters and superyacht owners descend on the sparkling
waters of the "Chinese Riviera' for China's largest in-water yacht show,
business jet show and luxury property and lifestyle showcase. --
SCUTTLEBUTT POLL: SHOULD THE RULES HAVE TIERED PENALTIES?
In the April 2012 edition of Sailing World, columnist and rules expert Dick
Rose discusses whether a protest committee should have discretion in the
penalty they award when a boat is found to have broken a rule.
And now Scuttlebutt is asking the question too. The current polling numbers
show people are in favor of tiered penalties, but the comments indicate
concern about the execution of such a system. Vote and post your comments
* Palma, Spain (April 5, 2012) - Sailing at the Trofeo Princesa Sofia
MAPFRE, third event on the Sailing World Cup circuit, have been dominated
by light winds. However, all scheduled races have been completed providing
sailors in Palma with a full racing programme. The conditions appear too
challenging for most of the North Americans with the exception of 2008 U.S.
medalists Zach Railey (Finn, 2nd) and Anna Tunnicliffe (Women's Match Race,
semi-finals). Racing concludes on Saturday. -- Full report:
* A U.S.-Canadian advisory panel ended a five-year study last week with a
recommendation against large-scale engineering projects to prevent swings
in Great Lakes water levels, saying people across the region should adapt
to nature's ups and downs. The $14.6-million investigation concluded that
trying to control levels by placing more structures at choke points such as
the St. Clair River at the south end of Lake Huron would be too expensive
and damage the environment. About 200 scientists and engineers contributed
to a report requested by the International Joint Commission, which advises
both governments on issues affecting the Great Lakes and other boundary
waters. -- Read on:
* Spinlock has been bought by three of its current executives. Chris Hill,
Peter Kirby and Caroline Senior will take over as chief executive,
production director and operations director respectively. Rodney Hogg, who
has owned and managed Spinlock for 35 years, will remain a shareholder and
will be a non-executive director and management consultant to the company.
-- Boating Business, full story:
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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK
Some of the random photos from the sport received this week at Scuttlebutt
include shucking oysters, eating dirt, holding medal, pounding water,
swinging both ways, fashion tips, and turning the corner. Here are this
week's photos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/photos/12/0406/
* The talents of Studio Borlenghi/Guido Trombetta could make toy boats look
sexy, so imagine what they could do on the professional sailing circuit. Or
take a look at their RC44 class gallery from Portugal:
SEND US YOUR PHOTOS: If you have images to share for the Photos of the
Week, send them to the Scuttlebutt editor:
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
In its 39th year, the International Rolex Regatta is considered the "Crown
Jewel" of Caribbean Regattas. The 2012 edition attracted boats from the
U.S., Great Britain, Puerto Rico, Canada, The Netherlands, Russia, Italy,
Sweden, Monaco and multiple Caribbean islands.
St. Thomas Yacht Club opens its doors (figuratively, that is, since its
open-air clubhouse doesn't really have doors) to welcome guests and share
extraordinary island-style experiences, not the least of which is three
days of weaving through the visually arresting cuts, cays and islands of
the U.S. Virgins.
When it comes to winter regattas, it's hard to beat warm winds and island
ambiance. And the scenery makes for great videos too. Click here for this
week's videos: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/media/12/0406/
* Ride the shoulders of Brock Callen for a sunrise kiteboarding session on
the water in St Martin: http://youtu.be/GHLAA8Uz1l4
* This week on Episode 33 of 'America's Cup Uncovered' we uncover the
latest news from the teams leading up to the first America's Cup World
Series of 2012 in Naples, Italy (April 11 - 15). Team Korea is the first
team to fly a hull in Naples during training with new skipper Australian
Nathan Outteridge, 26. Then we catch up with Energy Team France's Loick
Peyron and Yann Guichard to hear about their multi-hull cross training over
the winter. Luna Rossa Challenge has announced their crew lineup, and we
learn about a friendly rivalry between helmsmen Chris Draper and Paul
Campbell-James. Tune in on Saturday April 7 approx 0800 PDT 1600 BST:
* April 6 "World on Water" features reports on the BMW Auckland Regatta in
New Zealand, Giovanni Soldini's Miami-New York record attempt in his VO70
Maserati, the RC44 Cascais Cup in Portugal, the Bitter End Cup in Virgin
Gorda, Practice Day for competitors in the ISAF Trefeo S.A.R. Princess
Sofia MAPFRE in Palma, Spain and in our "Fresh to Frightening" segment the
wild action of the UK Zapcat Racing. Two-Up racing in a RIB at full speed.
See it on http://www.boatson.tv 1800 BST 1300 EDT Thursday April 5.12.
SEND US YOUR VIDEOS: If you have clips to share for the Video of the Week,
send them to the Scuttlebutt editor: mailto:email@example.com
Scuttlebutt strongly encourages feedback from the Scuttlebutt community.
Either submit comments by email or post them on the Forum. Submitted
comments chosen to be published in the newsletter may be limited to 250
words. Authors may have one published submission per subject, and should
save their bashing and personal attacks for elsewhere.
* From Philip Walwyn:
Volvo cars: thoroughly safe, absolutely reliable and rather dull.
Volvo 70's: potentially dangerous, totally unreliable but far from dull.
* From Mark Osterman:
It's been a few weeks now that I have been considering writing this. But
Groupama's dismasting was the last straw. Could someone please stick a fork
in the Volvo Ocean Race and call it done? Those who did the Whitbread in
the old days must be dismayed at this disaster slowly unfolding, like a
slow motion train wreck making its unconventional way around the world.
Could someone please put this race back in the hands of the sailors, and
far away from the marketing and PR folks? Give us a course around the world
that we all can relate to. No more routes to China and the Emirates. Sail
it in boats that stand a good chance of making it around intact.
Don't think it would be exciting? Think again. What makes it exciting is to
have a bunch of boats virtually match racing each other around the world,
all in close proximity. With superb on-board video coverage in almost real
time. And all boats in contention after they round the Horn!
The current spectacle is pathetic.
COMMENT: What I fear is this letter will reappear next summer if the AC72s
are not able to withstand the nuclear winds of San Francisco Bay. And it
should, if the America's Cup boats falter like the VO70s are now. Did you
think the 33rd America's Cup was a mess? Exploding boats during AC34 could
knock this hallowed event further off the radar. - Craig Leweck,
* From Eric Sorensen:
Bruce Kirby put out a great article, in Butt 3561 on the effervescence of
sailing classes. The fresh classes with lots of bubbles are very popular at
first and always will be if they are finishing first. When something new
comes around that is a bit faster, the value changes - just ask a Moth
rider. The older designs get flat compared to the freshly opened designs.
New boats and a market for them are sustained due to new ideas that create
speed in a new way. It is an expensive evolution and always has been.
As to the left behind boats (read more affordable), they find new owners
that use them either to enter the class they were made for as a learning
tool or they are re-tasked with a new life in a different use. Fast boats
seldom get left in the backyard or on the dock. Ratings may change but fast
still works. Comfort is also useful but in the racing world that design
feature is generally missing.
Anyone thinking of buying a boat for fun should consider the use after it
has gone through the first 3-4 years. Darwinism and survival of the fittest
see most fast boats end up in PHRF racing. Many old IOR boats are sold
cheap and have been fitted out with dodgers and have gone cruising. They no
longer race as the ratings they might be awarded in PHRF would just be
To keep the old boats fast, the money injector has to work overtime no
matter which fleet one enters. That Big Daddy WarBUCKS concept has been
around since dugout canoes got a sail and most likely will not be going
away. One has to accept that all boats are ice cream; which flavor do you
* From Cory E. Friedman:
Thanks to Bruce Kirby we now know that Yogi Berra actually copied the
remark almost universally attributed to him from a joke he heard Niels Bohr
make in a Copenhagen lecture illustrating Werner Heisenberg's uncertainty
It turns out that Yogi was an avid fan and student of nuclear physics and
copied all of his famous remarks from nuclear physicists who were
illustrating important principles of nuclear physics.
Match the Yogiism with the nuclear physicist he copied it from.
1) It ain't over 'till it's over.
2) It gets late early out there.
3) It's so crowded, nobody goes there.
4) Ninety percent of this game is half-mental.
5) If you don't know where you're going, you might not get there.
6) You can observe a lot by watching.
7) [What time is it?] You mean now?
8) It's deja vu all over again.
9) The future ain't what it used to be.
Enrico Fermi, Edward Teller, Ernest Rutherford, James Chadwick, Leo
Szilard, Robert Oppenheimer, Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, Hideki Yukawa.
For extra credit, name the position each nuclear physicist played in
science league baseball. For extra, extra credit, who said: "No officer, I
don't know how fast I was driving, but I knew where I was."?
If you do not make dust, you eat dust.
SPONSORS THIS WEEK
APS - IYRS - North Sails - Atlantis WeatherGear - J Boats - Gowrie Group
Dieball Sailing - Ullman Sails - Summit Yachts - The Pirates Lair
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